Friday, April 21, 2017


The last post to this blog was nearly three months ago and I am still adjusting to the new regimens of living with kidney disease.  I haven't had much energy or inclination for blogging.  I have even fallen behind in my reading of other blogs.  But I am beginning to see my way forward and am developing some new routines.

I have been stitching, though.

At first, I wanted something light hearted and easy on the eyes.  So, I pulled Bent Creek's The Branch from the To Do binder.  It's a simple straightforward set of charts purchased years ago when I was buying just about anything with an owl in it.  This is one of the snapper series and, for the life of me, I don't understand what possessed the designers to think snaps were decorative.  They're fasteners, for God's sake: functional, to be sure, but not particularly attractive.  So, I left them out of my version and filled the only two really obvious gaps with some Rhodes stitches.  I had most of the recommended GAST and WDW floss but made a few substitutions as needed.   I didn't want to wait on an order to start work.  It's one of the advantages of having an obscenely large fiber stash: I can indulge myself with impulsive starts.  

If anyone reading this  would like to stitch this piece her[him]self, please post below with an e-mail contact.  I'll be happy to send the charts complete with snaps and buttons.

Next, I went in an entirely different direction with Victoria Sampler Tea Cozy.  I have taken several classes with Thea Dueck and love her work.  It is always a joy and a challenge.  Her mastery of specialty stitches as major design elements and her talent for combining various techniques [cross stitch, crewel, hardangar, etc.] in the same design result in pieces that delight this stitcher's heart.  She uses a lot of Kreinik silk mori in her designs which is one fiber I don't have in my stash. So I substituted Belle Soie silks in the appropriate colors [See comment above about advantage of large fiber stash] and went to town.  I have been doing fairly well and am happy with all the satin stitching and the fern and fly and chain and lazy daisy and Smyrna cross and Japanese ribbon stitches.  But, alas, I have hit a real snag with the boullion stitch sunflower.  I have already made three false starts and had to cut away some quite tatty knots.  I have tried using a milliner's needle - too long - and a shorter beading needle - not much better.  I believe my problem is not getting the right tension - I am wrapping the needle too tightly with the result that my knots look like hump backed caterpillars.  I shall have to practice. There are supposed to be 24 of these knots in the sunflower and I am determined not to be defeated,


CalamityJr said...

My comment disappeared! If I touched publish and didn't even know I'd sent it, feel free to ignore this one. Anyway, welcome back. I'm glad you're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, though I'm sure there are days that the tunnel seems endless. You chose your stitching projects well; I think these would bring you cheer. Please take care of yourself and continue to keep us up to date as you feel able.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Welcome back! You've been missed.
I do hope that you can find some time for blogging as well as stitching.
I have no idea why anyone would add snaps to a design, we call them "poppers" in the UK so for a long while I didn't know what they were.
I love the sentiments on these two, especially the Victoria Sampler design.

Ariadne said...

Glad you are feeling better and are able to get into the routines you prefer.AriadnefromGreece!

deb said...

So good to see you posting!

The snaps always seemed an odd addition to me also. I really like the Bent Creek piece - fun and pretty, and such good advice. The Tea Cozy is lovely! All the different techniques make such a nice design. I'm sure you'll get the bullion knot! When I was learning/practicing it several months ago, I read the the trick is to use a needle whose eye is NOT wider than the main shaft of the needle - I think I used a regular hand sewing needle and they worked fine (the one I tried with my tapestry needle looked like a rats nest).

CathieJ said...

Welcome back. The projects that you have chosen to work on are perfect and very pretty. Take care of yourself and blog when you can. We are listening and wishing you well.

Sok Sareth said...

Welcome back! You've been missed.